(Nearly) Free Oil, Anyone? Oilsands Product Sells At Bargain-Basement $16 A Barrel

Canadian oil can’t get to the world, and the world won’t pay for what it can’t have. The result? Canadian crude was trading at a 77-per-cent discount to benchmark North American oil at the end of this week.

Prices have fallen for much of the past two weeks, with Western Canadian Select (WCS) — the benchmark price for product from the oilsands — dropping to US$16 a barrel on Friday. That pretty much ties for the lowest prices in records going back to 2009, and it’s down nearly 37 per cent since its close on Monday.